Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, has called for the UK to ban the import of goods from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) if the Israeli decides to apply sovereignty.
In a proposal backed by leader Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy said, “The government must be clear with the Israeli coalition government that concrete action will follow, including a ban on goods entering Britain from the illegal settlements in the West Bank.
“This is a major step, but such a blatant breach of international law must have consequences. It will take a level of courage that so far ministers have not been willing to show.”
Nandy, who has headed the Labour Friends of Palestine group, said Britain has a “unique moral responsibility” to take action as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested he could “apply sovereignty” to up to 30 per cent of the West Bank.
Labour has previously called for diplomatic pressure on Israel in its 2019 manifesto. The new proposal represents a tougher line.
“Annexation presents the best chance for peace”
Writing to Boris Johnson last month, Colonel Richard Kemp, Lord Simon Reading and film-maker Hugh Kitson wrote to Prime Minister urged the UK to recognise Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank as Johnson wrote to MPs saying that the UK was opposed to such plans. It came after 126 MPs and Peers expressed “outrage” at Israel’s plans to annex and called on the UK to “sanction” the Jewish state for what the MPs wrongly define as an “illegal action”.
Col Kemp wrote that he has drawn on his experience of working for the Joint Intelligence Committee to conclude that “the US Administration’s current peace proposals, including sovereignty implementation, in fact represent the best chance for a lasting peace between the two sides as well as a future two-state solution”.
He added: “I believe that this plan also has the potential to bring much-needed prosperity for the Palestinian people as well as greater stability to the region”.
The letter also attacked the campaign by the 126 parliamentarians for suggesting that “the UK’s response to Israel’s implementation of sovereignty should be to punish the State of Israel with sanctions and other action”.
They write: “On the contrary, I urge you to publicly support Israel’s implementation should it occur, as well as the other components of the US peace proposal.
“Increasing rather than damaging Britain’s trade relationship with Israel is in this country’s economic interest.
“Equally important, as you are well aware, the security of British citizens at home and overseas relies heavily on the continued strong intelligence, defence and technology relationship with Israel.”
They also pointed out in a separate letter that the 1920 San Remo Conference, which recognised the right of the Jewish people to “reconstitute their historic homeland’’, gave their argument legal force.
We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.